At first Jessica Matthews clung to the sword for fear the beast was not yet dead; she might lose her grip if it rose up again. The rest of the world filled her consideration in stages and her focus softened to allow for the things around her which weren’t a dragon. Her desperate grasp on the pommel was technically shoddy. Her knees were in the snow and cold. Sweat and snow-melt soaked her torn tights; each time she exhaled a chilly breeze ran between her body and the still-hot scales of the dragon. She didn’t worry it’s blood would stain her limited edition Schepacz t-shirt, but the thought of ruining her leather duster slapped her with dread. She stood.
A movie scene of boys drinking the blood of a newly killed deer.
A clear solution—tears she supposed—pooled in the corner of the dragon’s iridescent eye. The liquid appeared tinged with purple or may have only seemed that way because of the eye’s swimming hues. It was shot with a tendril of red blood which acted more like a crack through granite than one liquid in another. Jessica touched the surface with a single finger then dipped in two to get more of a taste. She expected the tears to be salty, but not sweet as well. And they were. [a little more here]
Finally removing her left hand from the pommel of her borrowed sword she wedged her fingers into the pocket of her denim cut-offs and pulled out a bottle of contact saline. She squeezed the bottle till it made several wispy wet-air noises and she was certain it was as empty as she could get it. She squeezed it and far shut as she could get it and dipped the tip into the dragon’s tears. She capped the bottle once it was full, stuffed it in her shorts, tugged the sword free, and walked away from her kill.
319 words on day 692
Last two day I wrote elsewhere.
Pinch 1 – Grumphook discovers an early effort of some boys to escape and flames the terraced farmland.
This scene seemed like something I could work on without getting too caught up in and easily throw away if needed. I’ll probably stick with imagery rather than delve into Grumphook’s character.
Grumphook lay sleeping in the cool mud of the pig pen she’d modified to suit a dragon. Those modifications included smashing the mill pond upstream to divert more water to make more mud and removal of the pigs via ingestion—the final pig cowered in the broken nearby shed. She heard the alert in her dreams, and for a momemt it mixed incongruosly with her rending of a fat just-sheared sheep. Her body reflexed into the air, wings shifting back before unfurling upward then than flapping down and around as if she were trying to hug the air beneath. Her legs kicked the ground in mostly the right direction with mostly the right traction. She instictively rolled downmountain to gain speed and loft with less energy. A stone chimney crashed into her left shoulder before she completely abandonned the squeeling dream-sheep.
An upslope wind bent the tops of Douglas firs as it approached the village and the dragon. Grumphook timed her climb to coincide with the favorable wind and rose into the mountain sky higher than her sisters. It didn’t take long for her to spot the cause of the call that woke her. She saw the warmth of the boys huddled near a cool rock spur. It would have been a sufficient hiding place if dragons had human eyes.
I was planning to go into how she didn’t much care if the boys got away or not. That she did of course try to flame them or at least scare them. But she decided to take her retribution on the village instead, so she flamed the terraced farmland.
The boys who excaped thought they had caused the eradication of their village and never returned while the village which doesn’t get razed thinks the boys were lost as well. Then maybe I can bring them back somehow. Maybe one of the boys is Gertrude’s son.
374 words on day 650
This day was the fourteenth day. Jalko placed a carved basswood dragon on a shelf next to eleven others. Her increasing skill evident in the progression from left to right. The first two days of the hunt everyone patted each others backs and cheered as they climbed to their perches or burrowed into their hiding holes. For a time they called to each other when boredom set in, but [the hunt leader] advised against this noise and suggested they whittle quietly or read if they could. Most scoffed, but at the close of the third day many had shavings in their beards or a chess piece to show their friends.
But hiding was uncomfortable and waiting was dull. At full night when [the hunt leader] called them in from their solitary positions around the meadow and they unstaked their sheep no one waved or joked or even looked another’s direction. They filed silently in line to take the trail back to the village. Sem or Norel would quip about the day just before they seperated again and each went to their home or tent. “How about them clouds?” could be funnier than you’d think the tenth time around.
No call came tonight. Jalko wondered if she slept through it and none noticed her missing from the silent procession to [camp name]. She shifted over to her peek but found only blue-black sky becoming black.